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Time to Replace My UVB Lamps - Who's the Best These Days?

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by Moshpitrockchick, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hey guys, I've been off the forum except to lurk here and there for a while. It's time to replace Zola the Geriatric Beardie's 160 watt Mega-Ray UVB/heat bulb and I wanted to see who is the gold standard these days. I know that ReptileUV was having some quality control issues - have they sorted that out? Should I be looking elsewhere or what? Give me the skinny and you shall be rewarded with photos of the old bag of bones. (The lizard, not myself!)
     
  2. justor

    justor Elite Member

    I haven't heard much about reptileUV lately, but I think they have sorted through the bulb issues they were having a while back. Looking at their website though, it looks like they might be getting in more orders than they are able to fill right now.

    For fluorescent UVB tubes the Arcadia T5 high output bulbs from lightyourreptiles.com have been getting a lot of hype. I plan on getting one for my iguana in a couple months. I'm not sure if they do mercury vapor bulbs though.
     
  3. skelly98

    skelly98 Elite Member

    For me, i use mvb bulbs, but strip (long) florescent bulbs can work as well.
     
  4. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    I'm definitely only set up for MVB's right now. In my years of reptile addiction I have definitely developed a preference. I used to keep a stock of Mega-rays, but now that I'm just down to one UVB using reptile I order as needed. Granted a back-order of a few weeks wont hurt me, that's why I'm asking around now.

    BTW how annoying is that talking pop-up ReptileUV? I was like "AHHHHH! Get the heck off this page!!!" but then I remembered that I actually had to be there for a reason.
     
  5. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Top prospects:
    -Arcadia T5 HO 12% fluorescent
    -ZooMed HO 10.0 fluorescent
    -MegaRay MVB
    -MegaRay MH
     
  6. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Arcadia MVB bulbs are available through lightyourreptiles.com
     
  7. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Yep lightyourreptiles gets my vote but I don't know if you need an adapter to run them on American power as they are Europe based.
     
  8. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    Not to hijack the thread, but I'm due to replace my UVB bulb also and I had a question. I don't have a T5 HO fixture, just a regular T8 one. I've been using the Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 tube. Would the regular (not-HO) Arcadia bulb be a better choice (I was looking at this one: Arcadia D3+ Reptile Lamp 24" *Fits all 24" Regular Fluorescent Fixtures* SALE!!) or should I stick with the Zoo Med bulbs? Or is it that much of a difference that I should just invest in a T5 fixture?
     
  9. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    The Arcadia bulbs come with the adapter on lightyourreptiles.com. Arcadia couldn't run them properly on 110V, so they gave up on redesigning them for now and are simply providing the means to run off 220.
     
  10. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    I would invest in the HO fixture. They are a longer term investment, but the bulbs are also said to keep working at a good level of UVB for longer. I haven't had mine long enough to tell you yet how much longer they'll last, but I believe you should be able to keep a bulb for over a year without the UVB degrading much. They also put out a higher output of usable UVB which means your reptile will get the benefit of greater 'sunshine' than with a typical bulb. Call Todd from lightyourreptiles.com to talk to him about the improvements of the T8 Arcadia over the ZooMed - Arcadia is great brand, but I don't know the differences in the bulbs when comparing apples to apples on the T8 bulbs.
     
  11. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    I agree--give Todd a call, he will help you gain a better understanding. While I personally use Arcadia HO fluorescents, ZooMed's HO variants are said to perform virtually identical, so don't count them out as an option. The great part about lightyourreptiles, however, is that it's a one-stop-shop, you can get your bulbs and correct fixture with a click of a button at a reasonable price. This takes a lot of the guesswork out for those who don't quite understand lighting lingo.
     
  12. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    But, from what I understand, they don't perform as well as the current MegaRay variant(s).
     
  13. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    How can you tell the difference between t5 and t8 fixtures?

    I have been using random flourescent fixtures I find at garage sales, auctions, etc for years and didn't even know there was a difference in the types of bulbs.
     
  14. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    There are a number of differences. For one, T8 bulbs are significantly smaller in diameter--about half the diameter of T8s (.625" vs 1"). Because of this, the pin layouts, tube socket and ballasts are different as well. So, just by looking at the socket itself (where the bulb 'plugs' in) you should be able to tell which is which.
     
  15. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Ok. So t5 is smaller than t8? Or other way around?
     
  16. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Yes, T5 is smaller in diameter compared to T8.
     
  17. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Ok thanks Vers. Now I am going to go check all my fixtures next time I am home.
     
  18. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yeah, that veered off course fast.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys. If there's no apparent QC issues with the Mega-Rays I'll just stick with them for now.
     
  19. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    As some of you may know I'm part of a Yahoo group that focuses on reptile lighting. A day or so ago Frances Baines (a founding member of UVGuide) was kind enough to create and post an excellent spectral chart which compares the spectrums produced by several UVB bulbs in relation to each other, the results of which are very interesting. I almost immediately asked her if I would be allowed to share this information with HC--that permission was granted :)
    8510186121_c64b9b8592_o.jpg
    Here is a direct quote from Frances which should provide a better understanding of what the chart actually represents.
    If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask--I'll do my best to answer them.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    So mercury vapor bulbs aren't good for d3 synthesis as they don't produce uv rays at the right wavelengths?
     

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